Treatment--The Ayurvedic Concept by Bhava Prakasha of Bhava Mishra—6.11-37

All actions which destroy diseases are known as cikitsa (remedial measures); it destroys diseases by making the dosha, dhatus, malas normal.

Action by which the dhatus of the body are made normal, those are the treatments of the diseases and are the duties of the physician.

That treatment is considered best which cures one diseases but does not give rise to another at the same time, its is not good treatment it is cures one disease and produces another.

Treatment should be commenced immediately after the birth of the diseases; it should not be neglected/postponed thinking the diseases to be small/minor/mild; though  minor, less, mild, it may cause great harm just like fire, foe and poison.

Diseases should be examined first, this should be followed by investigation of the drug, and next by other remedial measures; in the manner the physician should proceed equipped with knowledge and intelligence.

He, who commences treatment without knowing the diseases—his success is doubtful, even though he is fully conversant of the knowledge of drugs/therapies.

He, who knows only to administer drugs/therapies, but does not know the diseases and acts as a physician, deserved the punishment of death by the king. Meeting with  a physician who only knows the diseases but not conversant with drugs, is like a person getting into a boat without a boatman.

He (physician) who possesses only the knowledge of the texts but is not experienced in methods of treatment, gets into delusion/confusion/fear on approaching the patient just like a coward in a battle field.

He (physician) who knows the diseases fully, who is skillful/dexterous in all methods of treatment, who is conversant with the (effect) of region, habitat of the patient, time, etc. is sure to succeed.

The physician should try to understand the disease from its beginning to end and then start treatment following the principles of treatment.

Physician need never feel shy for not knowing the name of a certain disease, since there is no rule that all diseases should have a specific name.

Since no disease will develop without the doshas, the physician should treat the disease by looking to the symptoms of the doshas.

Physicians who do not treat incurable disease are the best of physicians. So physicians should try to distinguish curable and incurable diseases with great effort.

Diseases arising from cold (season) should be treated by its opposites and those arising from heat by their opposites, thus the treatments should be done without transgressing the proper time.

Treatment done before  or not done at the proper time, treatments being too less/weak or excessive—all these will not succeed even in case of curable diseases.

Excessive treatment for mild diseases and mild treatment for severe diseases are both inefficient, while treatment adequate to the diseases only is efficient.

When no relief is obtained by one kind of treatment, any other kind of treatment should be resorted to, but only after the effects of the earlier one has subsided, mixing treatments simultaneously is not beneficial.

Mixture of (two or more) treatments of similar actions is also not beneficial, while mixture of treatment of different actions does not produce any bad effect.

Wise physician should not depend only on the instruction furnished in the texts, he should also think and decide the best treatment while treating patients. Because there might arise such conditions of doshas, kala, bala, for which the treatments prescribe in the text cannot be administered and the treatments that are needed now are not prescribed in the texts.

Some times treatment of diseases helps for earning money, sometimes for earning friendship, some times for earning righteousness, some times for earning fame—reputation and sometimes for gaining practical knowledge. Thus treatment is never without benefits. Those who, adopting the injunctions of Ayurveda act in the manner helpful to all others, attain long life endowed with righteousness, prosperity and health.

Treatment should not be done with greed nor made a merchandise (to be sold for money) the physician may receive some money from wealthy persons and those who can afford it for his own livelihood.

That fool of a person who does not pay money to the physician who has treated him, will forfeit to the physician all the good reputation, righteousness, and wealth he as earned.

There is no country / region without people, there are no persons who are free from diseases always, hence the professional life of the physician is always well established.

Patient, messenger, physician, long life span, money, good attendants / nurses and good drugs / medicines—these are the limbs of treatment say the wise.



Bhava Prakasha of Bhava Mishra, Translator—Shri Kantha Murthy, Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi 1998, pp. 125-129